HERITAGE & MONUMENTS
Sign of lordly power section of Carcassonne, the castle was probably built under the influence of Isarn of Aragon (canon and archdeacon), between 1195 and 1236. The original castle, including the role of sentinel at the entrance to the valley of the Clamoux is obvious encompassed within its walls the church of Saint-Etienne and the few houses that had developed around. As a result of the extension of the New Town, the wall was extended and defended by a new tower called the hospital and a postern located at the mouth of Pont-Vieux. The ancient castle, transformed into a private residence, still presents an imposing quadrangular mass, with crenellated curtain, flanked on the northeast corner is a large and strong tower solidly built in cut stones and topped with loopholes.
It was higher and is referred to as the Revolution: Tower of the canons. In the courtyard, formerly court of honor, there is a stylish octagon tower of the Renaissance, containing a large and beautiful stone staircase well preserved. The entrance to the walled staircase door is framed by fine moldings and topped with a crest eroded. The great door of the castle, full hanger is visible in the south, behind the heart of the church. Above the door opens a mullioned Gothic window, finely carved.
The name of the building is derived from the Occitan "Capelin" meaning chaplain or priest of a place. The Capellanie was in effect until the Revolution, the presbytery. A royal decree of 1695 obliged indeed all municipalities to properly house the priest, his assistant and his whole "house" servants and maids. Originally, the village priest was staying in a house near the church belonging to the canons. When this house too small and uncomfortable, fell into ruin, the city successively rented several houses in the village and in 1742 decided to buy a significant rich, this beautiful private home which contained, in addition to housing the priest and his vicar, a large garden and a horse stable. Still be seen in the Capellanie a magnificent stone staircase with balusters shaped, surrounding a small courtyard where there was a well. The building was sold as national property during the Revolution, and finally bought by the municipality wishing to install a post office.
The Saint Etienne Church
Previously parish of the diocese of Narbonne, part of the chapter of Carcassonne Cathedral, today part of the diocese of Carcassonne, of the deanery of Caunes. The head of the Church is St Etienne (Saint Stephen in English) the 1st martyr. The church has been enlarged and restored in several eras, most notably from 1750 to 1784 by Mr Vidal, a Carcassonne architect. The nave is formed with a high and wide arch of ogival shape. The gothic style chancel was added in 1824 and the renaissance style porch in 1830, both of which were restored in 1896. The Château has an interesting steeple, square in form and strengthened after the construction of the château. The bells were recast from 1776 to 1780 by Berriat.
The clock was repaired by the clockmaker Balaval in Lavaur in 1782.
The steeple, constructed in the XII century, at the moment when the village community started to free itself from tutelage of the Canons, was originally used as the village belfry. Local council meetings or a meeting of all the village inhabitants under grave circumstances, were convened after a ringing of the bells. The bells were also rung to mark important national events, whose details were also displayed on the church door such as the birth of the eldest son of a King or a military victory …
The Saint Mammès Chapel
Rural chapel, located one kilometer west of the village, along the road between Villeneuve Sallèles-Cabardès dedicated to Saint Mammes. This cult is very old place since the first marked on a degree of the king of France, Eudes, dated 30 December 889. Three hundred years later, he received a replica of the Holy and carried that name until today. Plates recognition and votive offerings displayed in the building a few years ago still bear witness to the great reputation that had this chapel today. The building is difficult to date because it has undergone numerous modifications over the ages. The current heart, located opposite of all the churches, and the front of the east entrance were added in 1860. The nave with its arched roof has a mysterious origin.
The chapel was built on unstable ground. Despite numerous restorations in the late 1980s, significant cracks bask the building. In November 1989, the the association "Friends of Saint Mammes" is made. Its purpose is to safeguard the building. General Council, Regional Council, municipality, donors and manual workers volunteers participated in the restoration of the historical and cultural heritage. 17 August is traditionally held to celebrate the Saint. The monument and its beautiful surroundings have a constant maintenance that make it an ideal place for meetings and various events.
Notre Dame de la Grappe
You can find this little chapel at the entry to the village at the junction between the departmental roads 112 and 620, Aygadons crossroads. In the interior is a statue representing a robust yet maternal Virgin who is offering to her son, the infant Jesus, a bunch of Minervois grapes, which he holds in his hand.
In the interior is a statue representing a robust yet maternal Virgin who is offering to her son, the infant Jesus, a bunch of Minervois grapes, which he holds in his hand.
In 1854, the inhabitants of Villeneuve-Minervois, threatened by cholera which had devastated neighbouring parishes, prayed that they would be spared by the terrible scourge and expressed their belief in God by the construction of a Calvary.
Nobody not having died of the contagion, the inhabitants kept their promise and went from door in door, beggar of the cash donations, in kind or in work days. The priests who followed one another starting from 1854 were the project superintendents of work.
Various gifts out of ground made it possible to locate the place which was equipped with a beautiful cast iron cross: that of the Saver, with at his sides, crosses of two robbers and three statues of the virgin, of saint Jean and an angel with trunk. While entering the martyrdom you will discover a splendid stone cross going back to 1696.
:: The Cross of the Calvary
A fine stone cross, which previously dominated the summit of the Calvary, was re-sited after the improvements and the restoration of the old Calvary. It shows the date 1696.
:: The Cross of the Mission
A fine bronze cross which was produced and erected in 1852. It was originally located at the top of the promenade and was relocated in 1884 / 1885 to allow the construction of the fountain.
It is particularly interesting because it displays the symbols of the passion of Christ.
:: The Cross on the Rouanet House
This cross is very simple. It is embedded in the upper part of the house, on the way of Horts. She does not have any inscription. Like the cross of Blabine, and the cross located on the road of the water tower, it is known as “cross of the Rogations”. Rogations: this word comes from the Latin verb “rogare” which means to require, to request.
:: The Cross of the Blabine (The Cross of Saint Mathieu)
The cross of the Blabine, of a very stripped style high, slim with the square branches, is supported by two massive bases of unequal dimensions posed on a gray stone body. It delimits the old way of Caunes and that of Pujol de Bosc. The cypress which shelters it is used him as guard of honor.
:: The Cross of chemin vieux de Saint-Mammès
This cross is located at the crossing of the road of Sallèles and the old way which leads to the vault Saint-Mammès. A date, 1654, are certainly the date of erection of this cross. Low, a marble plate carrying the date of 1896, could indicate the date of a mission or a commemorative ceremony.
:: The Cross of St. Job (The Cross of St Peter)
On the Route de Carcassonne, at the edge of the Bade pines, it impressively dominates the Baous valley (combe). A lack of inscription or date means it cannot be identified.
:: The Baous Cross
A cross in forged iron. It is situated on the old road between Villeneuve and Villegly. It dominates the wonderful geological Gouffre (chasm) du Baous It is a memorial to an event which took place at the site.
:: The Cross of the Saint-Andrès or Saint-Andrieu
A stone cross erected on a hill. Until the XVI Century a small community lived on this hill until it was pillaged and burnt by the Huguenots. This cross is a symbol of remembrance of the battle.
The War Memorial
Building set up in memory of combatants died for France with the fields of honor. Not less than 38 names are engraved in the marble so that Villeneuvois, faithful to the duty to remember, can be inclined in front of this stele which pays homage to the victims of various wars.
The site of the dolmens, classified with the historic buildings is particularly rich, it exists 3 dolmens:
:: Dolmen of Palet de Roland
The first dolmen which one can admire is the Palet de Roland, dominating the valley minervoise. It is sometimes called dolmen of Jargantière. The legend tells that the stone was worked by Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne. It made use of it then like a metal disc, projecting it until Narbonne. Roland raised the Metal disc on two stones and there desired to be buried not far. The dolmen more probably dates from the 3rd millenium before our era.
:: The tomb of Roland or tomb of the giant
The tomb of Roland would be close to his Palet, but the recent studies make it possible to regard this deep bleeding as a marble extraction dating from the 17th century.
:: Dolmen of Roque Traoucado or Roquetrucade
It is the last megalith of the site, dominating the ruins of the smallholding of the same name.
It is probably about a tomb collective dating from the 3rd millenium before our era. Funerary furniture (potteries, bronze and copper bracelets) indeed makes it possible to classify this whole in this kind of monument. The upper part disappeared, letting appear only the entry and the funerary room, discovered.
Les Capitelles (Dry Stone Huts)
These huts are entirely constructed of dry stone without either mortar or structural timber according to the principle of a corbelled vault, namely the stones are placed one on top of the other in perfect symmetry, until they form at the summit a vault or head, from which comes the word “capitelle” or in aude Occitan, “lou cabanot”.
These stones are slightly inclined towards the interior to allow rainwater to fall away and therefore ensures the huts are waterproof.
The Capitoul hut has a feature which differentiates it from all other constructions and gives it its originality.
In 1819, one had only two economic energy sources: wind and water.
This mill was built on locality PECH-ROUZAUD to supplement an already existing water mill in Villeneuve-Minervois. It was exploited until 1890 and Pierre OURLIAC was the last miller.
It is probable that no other craftsman then exploited the mill, which fell in decrepitude gradually, undoubtedly the pieces of wood they were recovered for construction, unless a fire entirely destroyed it. In any case, the last vestiges of its past in years 1980 were, in addition to the walls, of the fragments of grinding stones scattered in the heap of rubble which covered the ground of the mill, the whole in the middle of the vines. The meticulous work of Mr. Alibaud gives us all the details of the infrastructure of the mill.
In 2001, Frédéric Bénazeth, young entrepreneur nephew of the last owner, having discovered the history of this mill which was yet only one filled up circular wall of rubble, decides to put his enthusiasm and his passion in the reconstruction of the mill. He chooses to call upon a craftsman specialist in the restoration of the old frames, in order to reconstitute with more close the mechanisms, while keeping with the mill all his seal.
The moat walk
On the boulevard in Villeneuve, there are signs on the wall including a coat of arms which say “Promenade des Fossés” (The moat walk) Whether they are young villagers or tourists, everyone asks the same question:
Why the ancient name “moat” ?
It’s because from the XIV to the XVIII Centuries the village was surrounded by moats. In all ages, men have looked for shelter for their safety, from where the construction of fortresses, and castles by the rich and powerful where they would provide shelter for their possessions, their families and their servants.
The Large Fountain
Remade with identical in 1989. The fountain is surmounted by a statue representing our national Marianne, symbol of the Republic. Hundred years passed between these two dates.
It is by a vote of the Town council that is conceived the project to bring water to the commune. The project is ambitious for this time. It consists to collect spring water located road of Cabrespine, at the edge of Clamoux and to bring it by a ground pipe to a large distant fountain of approximately a kilometer.
The selected place judicious, but is also dictated by circumstances. The water conveyance being based on the system of gravity, the site of the arrival of water is obviously important.
Large fountain, water will be then distributed towards eight small fountains located in the districts of the village, and two feeding troughs.
A well known meeting place, Villeneuve still has two washhouses.
One is supplied by the overflow of the source of the mill, and managed by the company “Oriental des eaux de la Montagne Noire”.
It supplies the village with drinking water via the Crès water tower.
In the 1950s the second washhouse replaced a “païchèro”, a type of waterhole where the women came to wash, on the large flat stones on the bank of the river.
In the village, two bridges span the River Clamoux. Upstream, “Le Pont Vieux” or The Old Bridge, and downstream “Le Pont des Lavandières” or The Washer Woman’s Bridge.
The Old Bridge was partly reconstructed between 1926 and 1927 at the request of the village.
Le Pont des Lavandières was washed away by the river during flooding during the night of 12th and 13th November 1999. It was completely rebuilt a few years later.